Note: I wrote this back in December and it has literally taken me months to look at it again and decide to post. Please think gentle thoughts as you read!
We have all felt judged in our lives, we are described by only one word (who else has been called a millennial, or any other generation term, in the workplace? ) Or, we are perceived by only the way we look, the way we parent, the career choices we make.
"There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently." via What You Learn in Your 40s by Pamela Druckerman
It seems to be human nature. But I have a quarrel with this tendency. We cannot possibly know anyone as well as we know ourselves. I cannot assume to know what someone else has been through, but I think that should be the great equalizer between everyone; we have all been through something significant and in that we should have a place of empathy for one another.
Now many people have assumed things about me, and that is where this essay stems from. I have been assumed to be many adjectives and I feel this assumption more often as a parent than I ever did before I had children. I once told a friend that parenting style is sacred to all who parent. We have thought about our parenting, researched, discussed and brainstormed with our closest confidants; As parents we spend more time worrying about our parenting quite possibly more than any other topic in our lives.
My husband and I are constantly discussing the parenting issues that are most important to us. From sports activities and education, to how our children treat other people, and the best way we should model that behavior. As two different people, we come from different places with different experiences. We are both still learning and I have faith that we are not the only ones.
"I am tougher. I am bitchier. Because, let’s face it, motherhood does not care if you only had three hours of sleep. Motherhood does not care if you feel fat. Motherhood says, GET UP OFF YOUR ASS, LADY. YOUR SON IS EATING SILICA PACKETS" via The Force of Motherhood by Harmony Hobbs
I realize now that life, and in parenting, there is no certain path to success. Yes! I successfully raised successful children!
Children, parents, people are intricate and layered and different. Perhaps this is just what it means to be a parent, or a parent figure, or simply what it means to be an adult. But realizing that no one is perfect is an extremely comforting realization that has led me to seeing the world in a gentler and more compassionate light.